First Kevin Durant was held out of the Brooklyn Nets’ game against the Toronto Raptors on February 5 due to COVID-19 contact tracing. Then he was allowed to play. Then, after playing 19 minutes and scoring eight points, he was yanked from the game again due to health and safety protocols.
It didn’t go over well.
NBA stars and pundits across the country were baffled. So were Durants’ teammates: James Harden called it “frustrating” and “overwhelming,” while Joe Harris settled on “bizarre.”
Durant, meanwhile, could only take to Twitter to express how he felt.
Durant Explains His Post-Game Tweets
“Free me,” Durant tweeted shortly after the Ratpors game. But the 10-time All-Star wasn’t done. A few moments later, he tweeted again: “Yo @nba, your fans aren’t dumb!!!! You can’t fool em with your Wack ass PR tactics.. #FREE7”
On The ETCs podcast, Durant explained why he went off on Twitter following his removal from the game.
“I was like, I might as well make a joke out of this s—, because that’s exactly what it is,'” Durant said.
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Much-Awaited Return for Durant
Nets coach Steve Nash said he expects Durant to be eligible to return to the team Friday, a day before they hit the road to play Golden State.
“Kevin’s on about 90 negative tests,” Nash said Monday with tongue-in-cheek. “So it would be wonderful if he could join our ballclub as soon as possible.”
Assuming he’s able to suit up, the game will mark the first time Durant faces the Warriors in their home venue since he left the team to sign with the Nets in the 2019 offseason.
Durant, who was named an All-Star in each of his three seasons with the Warriors from 2016-2019, helped Golden State to two NBA titles during his time with the team. Golden State plans to honor Durant on Saturday with a video tribute at Chase Center.
For Durant, just getting back to the court will be a win after a week away. The 32-year-old was also forced into a week-long quarantine in January after exposure to someone who tested positive for COVID-19.
Durant missed three games in that instance. Three more since the Raptors game have him up to six coronavirus-related absences this season. That, plus the positive COVID-19 test result he returned last March, and Durant said he’s had just about had enough of the pandemic.
“That was just the beginning,” Durant said on The ETC podcast about testing positive in March. “We had no information on that s—. I was so shook in the crib. I’m waking up, checking my temperature at least five, six times a day, like, ‘Yo, if these symptoms creep up on me, I might be — these might be my last days.’ It was one of those things. Covid is just like — I’ve been through every situation with that s— since it came out. Since it hit the streets I done missed six games because of some s— and I didn’t even have it. So it’s just like — I’m over this whole s—, man. I don’t even want to talk to nobody else about that s— after this.”
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